Feb 2012 - Pathfinder - Conquest of Steel campaign

Are we Highwaymen or Lowwaymen?

Banditry, Betrayal and Bard all start with "B"

Dates: May 26-June 2nd
Locations: Hungerdark, the Hungerdark Highway
NPCs involved: Faaz Ibrolio, Dmitri Von Principe, “Good” Vito Paccara, Rennec, Enzo Ibrolio, Abelie Cazzala (House Cattanei employee, captured), Biro Estempro (House Irovetti trader)
Important occurences:
Relentless mocking of Dmitri
Change in “Good” Vito’s treatment of the PCs
Rennec requests that the PCs allow the poachers (The Markenvalt Gang) to continue their operations
Faaz returns to the warehouse
PCs, hired by Rennec as guards, are instructed by Enzo to make sure the traders they’re guarding never make it to Littletown.
PCs betray the traders they’re guarding, murdering and robbing them under the watchful eye of the full moon.

Players present:
XP: 2400
~14k in gold, platinum and gems
Mwk dwarven war axe x2
dwarven war axe
Throwing axe
Chain shirt
2x Potion of cure moderate wounds (Cl recorded by Michael)
4x Portion of cure light wounds
2x Potion of fly
Scale mail
Light crossbow
30 bolts
Potion of eagles splendor
Mwk Greatsword
Mwk Composite Longbow +1
50 arrows
Breastplate x2
Light steel shield
Mwk Light Crossbow
Mwk Longsword
Potion of barkskin +2

Quest status:
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: incomplete
Banditize the dwarven traders: complete
Guard the dwarven traders for Rennec: incomplete
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Rough summary (to be fleshed out tomorrow):

The PCs, having defended the House Irovetti warehouse from attack, find themselves in limbo, waiting for the boss to return to the warehouse and pay them, or for some other boss to come and pay them. Investigating the warehouse, they can find no obvious way for the bard Abelie Cazalla to have infiltrated Faaz’s office with her four mercenaries. The roof of the warehouse is accessible, though no holes or entrances were discovered during the PCs search.

When the guard “Good” Vito Paccarra recovers enough to regain consciousness, he turns to the other “regular” guard, Dmitri Von Principe, and asks him what happened. Dmitri concocts an easy lie that he fought bravely, even administering the killing blow, but raucous objection and derision from the PCs contradicts him. Vito doesn’t react strongly to this squabble, but begins treating the PCs with considerably more respect – when he calls them shit eating barbarians, it seems to be with affection instead of true scorn. Dmitri, however, is getting huffier every day and won’t even speak to Kor, Desi or Jurik. He will speak to Setyiel, though only in very formal, over-elaborate speech.

After a day of waiting, Faaz is a no-show. Dozens of carts and wagons have passed through the muddy cobblestone streets of Hungerdark, selling their goods (and something caravan vehicles) to the Kerrekk’Adarr hobgoblins and leaving the city as quickly. A few celebrating foreign traders opt to stay in town and drink their profits. A few celebrating caravan guards opt to stay the night and spend some of their profit at the Temple of Cayden or with the prostitutes of the Sylvan Glade.
The PCs meet and speak with Rennec to sell off the looted gear, learning that the poachers along with the woman were warriors/porters for “The Markenvalt Gang”, led by Patrost von Markenvalt. Rennec asks the PCs to lay off the poachers and let them continue to hunt north of Hungerdark (in the lands of the Azin.) The poachers, according to Rennec, provide meat for the tavern. Later in the day, Rennec sends an ugly/rough looking elf woman with his goat-cart to pick up the bodies of the poacher attackers – these will be sold to the Hobgoblin Beast as meat.

Day 2: Faaz is still a no-show and the warehouse is damp and chilly, though definitely warmer and dryer than sleeping in the wilderness. Rennec has still failed to sell off the loot from the attackers, though he says it’ll happen “soon, soon.”
Mid day, an Irovetti trade caravan arrives from Pitax, led by Biro Estrempo. He wonders where Faaz or Matosso are, and Vito tells him (a little untruthfully) that Faaz is with Matosso negotiating with the Kerrekk’Adarr in Upper Hungerdark. Biro stays most of the day, but close to night takes horses and armed guards and departs for Littletown, promising to return the next day.

Day 3:
Just after breakfast, Faaz returns, along with his guard, Enzo. His other guard, Nunzio, does not return with them. Faaz and Enzo and barely walking. Each are gore-smeared, mud smeared and have dozens of fresh wounds on their necks, arms, hands and faces. Faaz speaks to Vito, quietly wondering where Biro is, since his goods are parked in the warehouse. Since Biro is not there, Faaz tasks Enzo with making an early-morning delivery of the goods to the Kerrekk’Adarr. The PCs
help the wagons depart and follow through to the trading grounds, where they once again observe the captive Cyclops Ra and Orr on the side of the mountain, as well as noting the steep, difficult cliffs all around the entrance to Upper Hungerdark. To reach the mouth of the cave, either great rock climbing skills, ropes or magical means would be needed.

After a few hours of watching goods loaded into baskets and sleds and dragged up the mountain via hundreds of feet of scuffed, muddy mithral chain, the trading group leaves the wagons and horses to be taken up the mountain and returns to the Irovetti Warehouse.

Biro has arrived at the warehouse in the absence of the caravan, and has acquired a bloody nose. He takes his guards and departs for Littletown. The hostage bard, Abelie Cazzala (of the Cattanei family) is nowhere to be seen in the warehouse. Faaz looks a lot less shaky, though Enzo is near-collapse when they return, and Faaz sends him to rest.

Faaz thanks the PCs for their assistance and insists the party stay to guard the warehouse for a few days until reinforcement guards can arrive – either Biro wouldn’t lend him the escort guards, or Faaz didn’t trust Biro’s guards to watch the warehouse. The PCs counter-insist that they want an evening off at the tavern and Faaz reluctantly agress. The party has been in Hungerdark for a week and still hasn’t heard from Mamdani about returning to Il’Halouk, so what else is there to do?

That evening in the tavern, the PCs observe angry interactions between a dwarven foreigner and Antonini of the Thieves Guild, regarding delays and delays and delays. They’ve been encountering a few delays themselves – why is Rennec taking so long to package and sell the spoils from the poacher’s fight? There are no rumors circulating regarding the disappearance of Abelie Cazzala.

Day 4:
Reinforcements arrive for the warehouse from Pitax.

The PCs learn, from Enzo, about a troublemaker of House Cattanei, “Umberto” who is probably the source of the attack on the warehouse. Purposeless harassment is his m.o., making him the most likely culprit.
In the afternoon, Enzo sends the PCs to talk to Rennec, saying that he should have some work for them as guards/escorts. He insists that they leave their bedrolls and traveling gear at the Irovetti warehouse while they go to see Faaz. He also tells the PCs to tell Rennec that a giant wolf in the company of a cyclops are rumored to be active on the northeast side of Mt Branthlend, and to request information regarding the location of their lair – a reward will be given for this.

Rennec greets the PCs warmly, as ever, wishing them the favor and kindness from Razmiran. He is interested in the request for information about the cyclops and the wolf, and will pass that along to the Markenvalt gang, as that is roughly where they hunt. He also has work for the PCs – a small group of traders from the Kingdom of Druma will be making the very risky decision to travel to Littletown by night, and they need extra guards to make sure they make it alive. Pay will be 10GP/day with 50GP if there is an attack, with 50% of all that pay going to Rennec and “other brokers”. The deep gouging of percentage seems very unfair to the PCs, but what choice do they have other than to simply turn the work down?

The PCs follow Rennec across to the street to one of the rental warehouses for foreign traders, “Citadel Bruno”. Inside is a cramped scene, with horses, carts, cargo and traders and their two guards packed in. There is barely any space to sleep and the whole room stinks of anger, horse shit and dwarf B.O. Your choice as to which smells the worst.

The leader of the dwarven traders, Kaylan Untrellis, informs Rennec that the services of the guards he has hired (the PCs) will not be needed tonight, as he has opted to spend one more night in Hungerdark in the hopes of the Thieves Guild getting a better price for his wares. Rennec informs Kaylan that he is still on the hook for the hiring of the guards, whether or not he uses them. An argument ensues, with bitter, loud denouncing of Rennec, Hungerdark, the Thieves Guild and the entire kingdom of Pitax by Kaylan. Rennec stays firm, and Kaylan agrees to pay the fee, but wants the PCs to stand guard that night. Much grumbling ensues from the dwarves.

The PCs are tasked with overnight guarding of Citadel Bruno, with Jurik returning to the Irovetti Warehouse to retrieve a bedroll.
Once again, Enzo insists that they leave some bedrolls/traveling gear behind. Perplexing!

Day 5:
The PCs attempt to sleep comfortably in a crowded warehouse with horses and farting dwarves. Late in the afternoon they are awakened by the hitching of the horses to the wagons and departure of the carts and goods. The PCs are instructed to prepare for departure for Littletown soon.

The party returns to the Irovetti warehouse to gather their belongings, and when they do, Enzo takes them aside and explains the following:
The dwarves will have the PCs traveling with them in the evening. The PCs will wait until the sun goes down and traffic disappears, and they’ll “make sure the dwarves never reach Littletown”. Half of the money found on the traders goes to the party, the other half goes back to Enzo.

The walk from House Irovetti to Citadel Bruno is full of argument and counter argument by the PCs. Kor and Jurik feel the whole endeavor is highly dishonorable and strongly rebel against being forced or intimidated into doing anything, much less banditry/betrayal. Desi’s opinion is “They aren’t even Kargi” and she is pro-banditry and murder. The elf, Setyiel is enigmatic, using the standard elf tactic of saying nothing and hoping gullible humans will mistake it for ancient wisdom. When he does finally speaks, his wisdom is that the party is still being blackmailed by Mamdani to errand-boy back and forth to the Irovetti Warehouse and Faaz, so crossing the Irovettis this early would be dangerous. When the party is drawing close to Citadel Bruno, they put it to a vote: betray these dwarves and murder them by the full moon, or refuse to obey their employer and possibly find themselves on the wrong side of one of Pitax’s most powerful political and trade entities. Banditry and betrayal win the day, and the PCs decide to go with Enzo’s plan.

A few hours and miles outside of Pitax, the sun is almost entirely down and a giant full moon looms overhead. The murmured song of the Hunt-singer Jurik calms the party and dims the senses of the traders. His song is so powerful that the leader of the traders falls to the ground with a thud, suddenly asleep. This is the sign the party is waiting for. With a roar and a baring of his teeth, Kor charges the point man, a dwarf named Gotrek, hacking him brutally with a greatsword. Desi whirls and begins pumping arrows into one of the Pitaxian guards the dwarves had hired on. Setyiel charges his weapons, casts defensive spells and prepares for violence.

Gotrek and Kor engage in a brief and violent struggle, with Gotrek quickly dispatched by the giant barbarian’s scything blade.

The Pitaxian guards engage Desi, with one dropping to his knee and firing arrows at her and the other charging forward and slashing the young woman with his sword. This forceful attack threatens the party’s dominance of the situation, until the magus Setyiel, in a dancing, whirling and flourish-filled attack, delivers quick series of deep slashes to the larger human fighter. his blade hack deep cuts through the seams of the fighter’s breastplate, leaving magical energy searing the gaping wounds created by the scimitar. Blood pours forth from the incredible wounds, though the fighter is, incredibly, still standing.

The only dwarf still standing, having missed his crossbow shot while waking the Kaylan, kneels and attempts to wrestle something from the prone Kaylan’s belt. A struggle ensues, into which Jurik charges to attack. As Desi and Setyiel fell the human fighters, Kor charges past them and into the dwarf smuggler, Urist. He is hacked down brutally, his body falls onto the cobblestones, the full moon reflecting in the blood pooling around his corpse.

The prone dwarf, Kaylan pulls a potion from his belt and drinks it, instantly disappearing. Invisibility! That is so annoying! Kor hacks with his greatsword at the ground where the dwarf was a moment ago, but cannot find the body. Setyiel dances, leaps and whirls, slashing his sword and his magical hands around on the ground, finding purchase in the dwarf’s tough flesh. A dwarven war axe falls to the ground, blood spattered. Jurik joins the fray, also hacking downwards. Kor joins in and after chopping at cobblestones for a minute, Kaylan’s body reappears, brutally chopped, stabbed and not quite dismembered. The fight is over, and the PCs have successfully betrayed and murdered the men they were employed to guard. Hidden in the dwarf’s bedroll are stones, beautiful stones, worth tens of thousands of gold.

After brief deliberation about the practicality of digging graves alongside the road, the party opts to dump the corpses into the river. A curious deer, half submerged, watches them with big black eyes, but before arrows can be notched and let fly, the deep flips, revealing a lower body of a squid – it is a common predator of these rivers, the curious omnivore known as the deersquid. That’s a good omen, right?

Late in the night, the PCs return to the House Irovetti warehouse to find the door closed. When they knock, Dmitri stands at the door and refuses to allow them entry, until the PCs threaten his life and honor, at which point he consults with Vito who tells him to let them in. Enzo meets them near the cooking area, congratulates them on their success, and splits their share of the diamonds, emeralds and gold they’ve banditized from the dwarven Druman traders.

PCs are still technically employed via Rennec as guards, and at some point will need to give Rennec (or not) his share of the gold they were to be paid by the traders.



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